Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TWITCH Previews Vanguard

TWITCH's Jason Gorber, in a preview of this year's Vanguard program, writes:

TIFF's Vanguard has always kind of been the bastard step-child of the Toronto festival, something previously had never really found a clear and definitive voice for the general festival patron.  With Midnight Madness guru Colin Geddes bringing a stronger sense of unity to the program, we can now, in 2012, better see just what this little group of odd films share with one another.
Essentially, as Colin put it, these are the "cool older sister" films of the fest. What he means, if I may be so bold, is two-fold: first, these are films that may thematically share characteristics with the more bombastic or brutal flicks that play for the mad crowds that gather at the Ryerson after the witching hour. Secondly, his tacit point is that these films would not work as Midnight films, conceding that they're often too mature, too slow (relatively) compared to the younger, rangy, hyperactive younger sibling that lives only after the clock has struck 12am.
Along with putting a single voice in charge of the assemblage of films (several programmers were responsible for locating the films, but Colin's essentially curating the list), TIFF has wisely set a single venue for these films. The Bloor Cinema, recently renovated at part of the Hot Docs group, sees a return of sorts - Midnight Madness started here, after all, by Noah Cowan way back in the early 90s.

He continues, citing ROOM 237 and BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO as his personal picks of the programme, and finishes with:

This, then, is hopefully what Vanguard will moving forward prove to be - an extension of Colin's late night festivities, eating further away at some of the more staid and predictable offerings elsewhere at the festival. These films will work best for those that have braved the late night insanity, but also a gateway for those that, god forbid, have to actually go to work the next morning.
We're now at the vanguard for what the Vanguard programme hopes to be, extending by another dozen or so films the reach of works that challenge, provoke, intrigue and sometimes startle. Freed from the necessities of keeping us awake, but providing a unified environment where thematically related films can be showcased effectively, 2012 sees the real birth of what will hopefully prove to be a vital part of the Toronto International Film Festival, a sister programme just as cool, but in different ways, as its bratty and precocious sibling.

You can read the whole preview at TWITCH on their website, and follow @TWITCHfilm and Jason Gorber, @FilmFest_Ca, on Twitter for their updates during the Toronto International Film Festival.

ROOM 237 screening times:
  • Thurs., Sept. 13, The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema 6:00 PM 
  • Sat., Sept. 15, Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 2 5:45 PM 
  • Sun., Sept. 16, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 12:00 PM

  • Mon., Sept. 10, The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema 6:00 PM
  • Tues., Sept. 11, Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 3 2:45 PM

Top image courtesy of TWITCH.

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